Bibiru Day (빼빼로), the Korean holiday you may love or love to hate. I guess it depends if you like Korean snack, Pepero. If chocolate-covered cylinder cookies are your jam, then this is the holiday for you! Do you know how many romantic holidays there are in Korea? More than 12. Get to know each other Romantic holidays in Korea here. Come November, the snack shelves of Korean convenience stores, grocery stores, and every other store display a plethora of these popular Korean snacks. Do you want to know more about this romantic holiday in Korea? You have come to the right place. Here are 12 things you should know about Pepero Day in Korea.
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The first Pepero Day is held on November 11 every year in Korea, and while it’s a holiday, it’s not a national holiday to get off work for. Wondering why November 11th? That’s because Pepero is like a “1” and November 11 is 11/11. It would be easy to remember, wouldn’t it?
Day 2 Pepero started because… well nobody knows. If you’re wondering how Pepero Day started, you’re not the only one and it’s still a bit of a mystery. One story has it that it originated in 1983 when two middle school students traded Pepero wishing they were tall and skinny…like Pepero. Some people say it was just a marketing scheme and since Pepero sticks look like the number “1”, it was easy to promote on November 11th. However, others say it started among male students in the ’90s, ironically proud of being single. I say ironically because it is now considered a somewhat romantic holiday.
3 Pepero’s Day, or a version of it, is not only celebrated in Korea. In Japan, November 11th is known as Pocky Day and in China, it is known as Singles’ Day. The celebration has gained momentum in other countries over the past few years as well.
4 There are more varieties of Pepero than you may realize. the The original is dipped chocolate, but there is also strawberry, almonds, Green tea, white chocolate cakeDark Chocolate Biscuits, Tiramisu, Cheese, Watermelon, PeanutsBlack chocolate, strawberry yoghurt, cherry dipped, mint chocolate, yoghurt yoghurt, double dipped strawberry, cheddar cheese, dark chocolate, peanut butter, latte, peanut pretzel and even delgona. There is at least that number but maybe more. I recently tried some Jeju mandarin Pepero which were great and this was the first time I saw them.
The only fix is that most of them aren’t available overseas yet, although you can get some of the more popular Pepero online at sites like Amazon. And if you’re into Korean snacks, have fun, check out get your hands Seoul Boxes. This is where I got my Jeju Tangering Pepero recently.
5 Pepero is manufactured by one of the largest Korean conglomerates, Lotte Corporation. If you’ve visited Korea, you’ve probably seen ‘Lote’ everywhere. From theme parks to hotels, and food, they have pretty much immersed their hands in pretty much every industry they can make money from. This is one reason why Pepero Day in general is considered a “Hallmark Holiday” of sorts, or a big marketing scheme.
6 According to Lotte, to get tall and skinny, you must eat 11 packages of Pepero at exactly 11 seconds after 11:11 a.m. and 11:11 p.m. on November 11. It all makes sense, doesn’t it?
7 There is little controversy, or perhaps disagreement, between the company that created Pocky in Japan and Lotte, the creator of Pepero, here in Korea. Glico, a company in Japan, first launched Pocky in 1966 and it has a totally uncanny resemblance to Pepero. Well, I guess it’s been the opposite trend since Lotte “created” Pepero in 1983. The Pocky was not sold in Korea though, Lotte argued there was no copyright infringement on Glico’s Pocky and they won. But the celebration, Pepero Day, actually came before Pocky Day, so perhaps the companies are getting ideas from each other at this point.
8 Wondering Who Gets Pepero In Korea? While it’s sometimes described as a holiday for bachelors because Pepero can seem like a “1” to remember, friends, family, students, and teachers give Pepero to each other, so hop in and be away on the fun or just buy some for yourself. This is always fun too.
9 Pepero Day is said to be the most profitable day of the year for department stores in Korea.
10 Pepero Day falls on the same day as Farmers’ Day in Korea and promotes pride in farming. Although Farmers’ Day was activated in 1996, proponents of that day believe that Pepero Day should be changed to Garaetteok Day. Instead of exchanging Pepero, people were exchanging long white sticks of tteok, or rice cakes, which tend to be sold by small businesses rather than huge conglomerates. You can guess how many people support the change that I envision.
11 Abroad, Pepero’s sales grew more than 14% last year to $33.9 billion. Lotte has increased Pepero’s marketing abroad under the slogan “Let’s Get Closer Together” with a major focus on countries such as Singapore, Russia and Kazakhstan. Suffice it to say, you may see it in your country soon!
12 Come on holiday time, Pepero might come in boxes, but those boxes might be shaped into all sorts of things like hearts and bouquets, too. Some of these packages may have some money inside. Money Pepero, donppaeppaero (돈 빼빼로), is a popular Pepero-inspired gift but with rolled paper bills placed inside Pepero-like rectangular boxes. Honestly, what do you prefer? A money box or a box of chocolate biscuits? I think I know what you’re going to say.
When it’s time to celebrate Pepero Day, get ready for the fun and greet people by saying “Happy Pepero Day” 빼빼로 데이 축하 해요! (ppaeppaerodei chukahaeyo!).
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